Filter Pump Problem/Upgrading the Upgrade

CLC

New member
Jul 26, 2018
2
Arkansas
Hi there. We are fairly new to TFP. We visited the site last swimming season but never posted because we were pretty much able to find answers to our (very basic) questions regarding pumps and plumbing in existing threads.
We are second season above-ground pool owners, operating a 2 year old Summer Waves Elite (14' x 42" / approx. 3700 gallons). The original wall-mounted filter pump crapped out on us last year, about a month into our first season, prompting us to buy a Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump.
The Intex isn't perfect; we look forward to upgrading to a sand filtering system as soon as we can fit it into the budget!
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I have 2 questions: the first and foremost being exactly what type (and brand) of test kit do y'all recommend to use with the TFP PoolMath app? This is our first year using the app and trying to implement the TFP way of sanitizing our water and balancing chemicals, etc. I am beginning to see that the little test kit I have isn't compatible with the PoolMath app, because the app and website list chemicals and tests that aren't on our test kit! Also, this kit is leftover from last season. Do these things go bad? I seem to remember reading to keep test kits at room temp, or inside, and we have not done so. (This one was out back in the little red barn, living through the ups and downs of Arkansas temperatures.)
Our last question is about replacing our Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump. Which brand and size sand filter pump do y'all recommend? It might be worth mentioning that our wall-mounted "stock" filter is missing the actual pump motor, as my hubby couldn't find it this year. As far as why it was removed in the first place, we've come to the conclusion that we must have taken it out after getting the new Intex last year to improve the flow of things.
I am including photos to help y'all understand what's going on a little bit better. I look forward to soaking up all your pool wisdom! Thanks!